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Xian Zheng

Performative urbanism as social strategy to research village life  

Beginn des PhD-Programms / Start of the PhD-Program​: SS 2017

Betreuung / Supervision: 
Ton Matton

In the material world, with the sustained high-speed urbanization, more than 50% of the global population has moved to cities from villages, and the proportion continues to rise. In the digital world, with the popularization of mobile intelligence, machine learning and non-delay 5G network architecture, cities and villages will be further intelligent, virtualized and unbounded. Based on the present, each individual has the right to choose (or be forced to choose) an urban and simpler lifestyle, with supermarket purchases replacing planting and harvesting, and big data manipulation replacing guesswork or invalid waiting. But for the future, the new generation also has the power or demands to understand the "once" native villages. Because, the memory constructs human society and human wisdom, and the village is its source.

This research based on village, cross-border art, urban planning and sociology, to analyze the relationship between daily life and spatial composition of villages in China, Austria and Germany. The research methods include "artist-type" fieldwork (active intervention and improvisation in the village environment), and the artistic presentation of self-created "multi-perspective documentary drawing". The current research shows that the primitive farming village society has changed into various forms such as urban residential village, modern agricultural enterprise village, cultural and scenic area village, real estate villa village and traditional decaying village. Most "villagers" are no longer synonymous with "farmers".  They remotely separate the space for living, working and realizing the life value in city or village, in the real world or in the virtual online world. Different village social structure, humanistic environment, natural resources and policy leadership, etc., directly respond to various combinations of long-term or short-term, individual or family entry to cities or return to the countryside. These new forms, separation and combinations, are the unified layout of administrative planning from top to bottom? Are specific designs by urban planners, architects or designers based on function, theory or personal style? Or are the adaptive adjustments to the constantly changing external world by individual villagers themselves? What are the intuitive features of these actively shaped daily spaces?

At the present stage, China has implemented rural revitalization with industrial support, ancient building protection and tourist attractions, etc. Austria and Germany have mostly formed “new village lifestyle” as village living, urban work, supermarket purchases and weekend celebrations. This research can provide an in-depth understanding of the daily basic aspects of different national culture, and provide a reference for the construction of traditional villages or the digital construction of future villages.

Kurz-Biographie / Short Bio
*1985, Chinese
PhD candidate & lecturer
•Since 2017, Xian Zheng has been studying PhD under PhD supervisor Ton Matton and teaching in space&designSTRATEGIES, University Art and Design Linz, Austria.
•From 2008 to 2016, she graduated from School of Architecture & Applied Arts, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and crossover worked as a landscape designer, computer game scene artist and interior designer in China. Since 2017, she worked for Arch. Elsa Prochazka and senior artist Pepi Maier in Austria.
•In recent 5 years, she has participated in the exhibitions as "Festival Der Regionen 2017", "Shenzhen Biennale UABB” in 2015 and in 2017, "A L'EXTÉRIEUR DE LA TOUR D’IVOIRE 2019", “Documentary Drawing, N47° & N48° (Die Moserei in Scharnstein)”, etc. Her researching reports were being published in Thepaper.cn and “Zhu Qu(Residential Planning)” of Tsinghua University, etc.
•Since 2018, she has been awarded the "Chinese Government Scholarship - special training program for art talents" by China Scholarship Council (CSC).

Email-Adresse / Email-Address:

Performative Drawing 2019_ Liu Jin Zi village in China © Xian Zheng